A new UNIVERSAL RECORDS initiative asking school pupils to promote pop bands Busted and McFly has been suspended following an investigation by British newspaper The Guardian.

The scheme called on children to distribute flyers and put up posters on school walls - in return for free merchandise.

However, angry JOHN BANGS - head of education at the NATIONAL UNION OF TEACHERS - branded the campaign "unacceptable", telling The Guardian, "Most schools would be very unhappy about this kind of activity because it exploits children for the benefit of the record company alone."

And on Monday (20DEC04) the BUSTED STREET TEAM was closed following an investigation, which found the scheme had been heavily criticised on several music business websites.

A spokesman for Universal said the scheme was being put on hold "to give us time to address some of the issues raised in Media Guardian".

But Universal bosses are adamant the scheme will re-launch: "The kids would be very upset if it disappeared entirely, but we are taking some time to consider some of the issues that have been raised."

23/12/2004 17:41